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Pain medicine use has nearly doubled

Limbaugh_oxycontin The Associated Press reported on August 20, 2007 that pain medicine use has nearly doubled between 1997 and 2005. The use of OxyContin manufactured by Purdue Pharma has jumped six fold between 1997 and 2005. Pharma executives were recently pled guilty to lying to patients, physicians, and federal regulators about the addictive nature of the drug.

While the use of opiate pain killers has a legitimate place in the treatment of pain, they also have been increasingly abused and people have become addicted such as Rush Limbaugh and Bret Favre.

At the substance abuse agency where I work we are seeing a big increase in prescription pain medicine abuse and addiction. OxyContin gained notoriety in the Appalachian states of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennesee where it was called "hillbilly heroin."

Studies have shown that emergency room visits for painkiller abuse has increased by 160% since 1995. In the last four years the DEA has prosecuted 108 physicians for the inappropriate prescribing of pain killing drugs. Of the 108, 83 pleased guilty or no contest while 16 others were convicted by juries. 8 cases are still pending and 1 physician is a fugitve.

Be careful with the pain killers. The pain they cause can be worse than the pain they alleviate.

Link: AP: Pain medicine use has nearly doubled - Yahoo! News.


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